Parallel sessions

The conference will host eleven scientific sessions, convened by session leaders from the Aalto University and University of Helsinki. The sessions will cover a range of approaches within the sustainability science and the conference theme, including energy, food systems, and methodological aspects. In case you have questions in regard to the content of the sessions, please contact the conveners directly.

All the sessions are held in the Undergraduate centre of Aalto University. Please find below the specific rooms allocated for each session. 

The entrance to the event is free.

Ses­sion 1: Sustainability trans­form­a­tions in the large-scale tree plant­a­tion sec­tor

Room Y307a

We engage a broad group of stakeholders including industry, NGOs, policy-makers and academics from different disciplines to discuss and co-create innovative opportunities and practices to facilitate sustainability transformations in the large-scale tree plantation sector. The issue of sustainability is approached in a broad sense, and will emphasise interactions between social, environmental and economic sustainability in complex environments.  We will discuss driving forces of sustainability including rationalities (e.g. scientific facts), hidden forces (e.g. histories, values, believes and emotions) and ways of interaction.  One major theme will be on European and Finnish responsibilities for sustainable production and consumption of products coming from large-scale tree plantations in the Global South, where sustainability is particularly challenging and controversial, taking into consideration the entire supply chain from primary production to end products.  The facilitated session includes mini-workshops, presentations, a poster session and dialogues by researchers, private-sector, NGOs, and other stakeholders.

Presentations

9:30 Opening  Jorma Eloranta, Chair of the Board, StoraEnso & Chair of the Honorary Delegation, Aalto University Student Union.

9:35 Global overview and Finnish context. Professor Markku Kanninen, Director, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI), University of Helsinki (UH). 

9:40 What are the main opportunities, challenges, research gaps and needs related to large scale tree plantation sector – the entire supply chain? (facilitated group discussion)

9:50 Perspectives: What supports or prevents sustainability?
Challenges, opportunities, research gaps, needs and ideas are discussed in presentations & facilitated discussion.

  • Global review of the socioeconomic impacts of large-scale tree plantations. Arttu Malkamäki, Doctoral student, VITRI, UH. 
  • Ways Forward: The Paradigmatic Changes Required in Industrial Forestry. Associate Professor Markus Kröger,  Development Studies, UH. 
  • The role of plantations in protecting biodiversity. Aleksi Heiskanen, International Development Expert, WWF Finland. 
  • Sustainable plantation forestry in the Global South: Stora Enso’s perspective. Dr. Antti Marjokorpi, Head of Forests, Plantations & Land Use, Sustainability, StoraEnso. 
  • Sustainable plantation forestry in the Global South: UPM’s perspective. Timo Lehesvirta, Sustainable Forestry Lead, UPM.
  • Ecosystem Services certification of large-scale tree plantations. Dr. Sini Savilaakso, Senior Sustainability Researcher, Metsäteho Oy. 

11:15 How to meet the goals and fill the gaps together? What do we expect from the different actors? (facilitated group discussion)

11:40 Closing

Available presentations of the session:

 

Con­veners:

  • Nicholas Hogarth (Univ. of Helsinki), nicholas.hogarth(at)helsinki.fi
  • Paula Siitonen (Aalto University), paula.siitonen(at)aalto.fi

Ses­sion 2: In­nov­a­tions in Sustainable Food Sys­tems

Room Y124

The environmental effects of the food system are related to climate change, changes in land use, depletion of freshwater resources, and pollution of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems through excessive nitrogen and phosphorus inputs. Improving the sustainability of the food system requires dietary changes towards healthier, more plant-based diets, improvements in technologies and management, and reductions in food loss and waste. This session aims to highlight novel innovations that improve the sustainability of food systems. The session will consist of presentations that address different parts of the supply chain of food, covering primary production, processing, packaging, retail, distribution, food service, consumption and waste management. Papers that consider environmental, social and economic sustainability jointly are preferred, but papers focusing only on one aspect of sustainability and/or one part of the food system are also welcomed. The innovations can be e.g. novel sustainable products, technologies, business models, new political instruments or nudges that improve the sustainability of food systems through influencing the choices made by the food chain actors (e.g. producers, retailers, food service providers or consumers).

Presentations

Opening words

Novel foods:

  • Hannele Pulkkinen: Carbon footprint reduction potential  with novel plant products with protein, product, meal and diet
  • Katri Joensuu: Sustainability of house crickets (Acheta domesticus) production for human consumption
  • Niko Räty: Artificial, in vitro or cultured? A conceptual analysis of meat from cell-cultures
  • Ashkan Pakseresht: Seizing Blue Bioeconomy opportunities: Review of developments in sustainable food solutions

Discussion

Circularity in food business:

  • Mamata Bhattarai: Spruce gum a sustainable food ingredient from trees
  • Rossanna Coda: Biotechnical approaches to recycle bread waste into food ingredient: from bread to bread
  • Ira Bhattarai: Innovation in business models: towards circularity through co-creation in food valuechains

Discussion

Packaging and consumption:

  • Hanna Koivula: Finding the balance: Protecting the food while improving package material sustainability
  • Stefano Ghinoi: Business model innovations for sustainable food systems? Applying Life Cycle Assesment (LCA) to look for new business models associated with Finland’s wine supply chain
  • Kata Fodor: Kitchen think-over: the hybridisation of food spaces and their potential to facilitate sustainable diets

Discussion

Commentator

  • Virpi Jonson, Innovation Manager, Valio

Con­veners:

  • Hanna Tuomisto (Univ. of Helsinki), hanna.tuomisto(at)helsinki.fi
  • Kirsi Mikkonen (Univ. of Helsinki), kirsi.s.mikkonen(at)helsinki.fi
  • Leena Lankoski (Aalto University), leena.lankoski(at)aalto.fi

Ses­sion 3: Trans­itions to­wards a low-car­bon society – fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions

Room Y203

Research has a facilitative role as contributor to new knowledge, which helps to design policies, to remove sustainability barriers and to accelerate the progress of successful solutions. Transition has been traditionally studied from the historical perspective e.g. how it has advanced over time. Nevertheless, research also looks at potential future pathways, directions, visions or trajectories of change.

This session tackles future oriented considerations on transition towards low-carbon production and consumption. We invite contributions which examine transitions from a multiplicity of perspectives, sectors and levels, including but not limited to the systems view, policy perspective, governance, actor analysis, buildings, energy or mobility sectors, experimentation etc. We welcome both conceptual discussions as well as empirical analysis on transitions.

Due to the pressing need of taking actions to counteract the negative effects of climate change, we welcome presentations that focus on discussing established as well as novel methodologies in how to empirically create future pathways of low-carbon transitions. By discussing a variety of ways and perspectives on studying transitions in the making, we hope to cross-fertilize and advance the transdisciplinary sustainability research towards considering future perspectives, and support respective policy making while doing so.

Presenters

  • Ruggiero, Kangas, Ohrling, Annala: Business model innovation in niche-regime interaction: The case of demand response in Finland.
  • Repo, Eyvindson, Halme, Mönkkönen: All good if it starts from “bio”? – reflections on a case study on bioenergy, carbon balance and biodiversity.
  • Kylkilahti, Korhonen, Tuppura, Miettinen: Towards circular bioeconomy business and consumption – 3 forest-based industry cases.
  • Lukkarinen, Matschoss, Repo: An analysis of experiments in the Finnish Transition Arena for energy transition.
  • Vihemäki, Mäenpää, Toppinen: Social innovations in construction as a way to support sustainability transition in the urban context.
  • Kangas, Ruggiero, Ohrling, Annala: Disruption and collaboration. The growth strategies for demand response business models in Finland.
  • Goodman, Juntunen, Halme: Grand societal challenges and responsible innovation: achieving systemic change with stakeholders.

Commentator

  • Heli Antila, Chief Technology Officer, Fortum oy

Con­veners:

  • Salvatore Ruggiero (Aalto University), salvatore.ruggiero(at)aalto.fi
  • Kaisa Matschoss (Univ. of Helsinki), kaisa.matschoss(at)helsinki.fi
  • Petteri Repo (Univ. of Helsinki), petteri.repo(at)helsinki.fi

Ses­sion 4: En­ergy Hu­man­it­ies

Room U119 DELOITTE

Burning problems related to energy production and use cannot be solved by sciences only but call for the development of interdisciplinary approaches that draw on humanities and social sciences – energy humanities. While bridging between natural sciences and humanities, energy humanities not only remap the geopolitical and ecological factors of energy policy at various levels but also develop new vocabulary (e.g. petroculture, nuclear phobia, nuclear identity, energy liberation, plutonium economy) and methodological tools (ecocriticism, nuclear criticism, econarratology etc.) to map the energetic history of humanity.

Programme

9:30-9:40 Introduction to the topic by the convenors
9:40-10:05 Inna Sukhenko (University of Helsinki): Framing “Nuclear” Fiction as Archive within Energy Humanities
10:05-10:30 Atte Harjanne (Aalto University School of Business / Finnish Meteorological Institute) & Janne M. Korhonen  (Turku School of Economics): Ditch the concept of renewables, talk about emissions – the risks of ambiguous normativity in the field of energy policy
10:30-10:55 Judit Nyari & Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio (Aalto University School of Engineering): From linear to circular energy model in transport
10:55-11:20 Athanasios Votsis & Riina Haavisto (Finnish Meteorological Institute): Urban DNA and sustainability outcomes: Planning pathways toward SDGs?
11:20-11:30 Harri Paananen (City of Espoo): Discussion of the presentations from a practitioner perspective
11:30-11:45 General discussion

Commentator

  • Harri Paananen (City of Espoo)

Con­veners

  • Inna Sukhenko (Univ. of Helsinki), inna.sukhenko(at)helsinki.fi
  • Meri Jalonen (Aalto University), meri.jalonen(at)aalto.fi

The panel will also include an introduction to the topic by the convenors.

Ses­sion 5: Evid­ence based policy or Policy based evid­ence I: Different voices, different evidence! Whose voice matters?

Room U270 U8

In this session we are interested in exploring the role of scientists and evidence in shaping policy and practice of sustainability. We define sustainability very broadly, and our main interests lie in exploring the topic of reliability and accountability of researchers and policy makers towards society’s needs and interests in (environmental) sustainability and the role of power relations within this interface.

Credible and independent evidence, defined as an available body of knowledge and information, is crucial to respond to our current major socio-environmental challenges, with sustainability sciences playing a pivotal role in providing this. Demand for and supply of evidence to inform decision makers and practitioners seems to be very high: calls for improved public policy through evidence-based decision making, establishment of new science-policy interfaces, and commitments to impactful science are voiced every day in diverse policy arenas. At the same time however, reliability of scientific evidence is increasingly contested and challenged by political and societal actors. And while scientists no longer can claim to hold the monopoly over legitimate knowledge production as multiple sources of evidence and expertise gain acceptance and legitimacy (e.g. indigenous peoples knowledge about biodiversity), facts and information are still being produced, selected and interpreted by a variety of society actors, ranging from Universities, to state research institutions, think tanks, interest organizations and other state and civil society actors. Hence, one can argue that in addition to scientists, multiple actors, including industrial lobbyists and environmental organizations, are using evidence to advance their agendas and influence public decision-making. Furthermore, public decision making is also affected by values, beliefs, and by power relations, for example expressed through financial exchanges. One can expect to find such plurality but also inherent power imbalances in particular in fields characterized by multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary research and ambitions for co-creation of knowledge (e.g. sustainability science), as this type of research is likely to encounter and include people with various backgrounds  and beliefs.  This raises important questions about the reliability of evidence: what is evidence and how is the evidence generated, how is it used, by whom? And as importantly, whose questions and findings have found funding and hence can contribute to a body of evidence? In summary, whose voices are heard, and whose evidence counts?

In this session we would like to explore questions such as whose science – and sustainability - matters, and who determines which questions (and problems) are on the sustainability research and policy agenda? We will discuss and explore the multiple challenges related to science policy interactions in particular within the sustainability sciences together with the participants, and aim to identify experiences and opportunities for addressing these challenges.

Presentations

  • Varumo et al: At the intersections of science and society: co-constructing societal relevance for policy
  • Lehikoinen et al: The question of framing in environmental impact assessments: evidence-based policy or policy based evidence?
  • Savilaakso, Johansson & Häkkilä: Evidence needs in natural resource use – who participates?
  • Rekola, Nyberg & Paloniemi: Environmental knowledge and epistemic governance in land use planning

Commentator

  • Helena Laukko, UN Association of Finland

Con­veners:

  • Maria Ojanen (Univ. of Helsinki), maria.ojanen(at)helsinki.fi
  • Maria Brockhaus (Univ. of Helsinki), maria.brockhaus(at)helsinki.fi

New Global

Room Y309b

New Global is an interdisciplinary research and innovation project that has been ongoing for 5 years at Aalto departments of Management, Design, Civil engineering (water) and Applied Physics (renewable energy). The project aims at creating pathways for sustainability innovations and impact business in resource constrained settings, and has pioneered how interdisciplinary research can take an active role in co-creating across disciplines, sectors and geographies. In this session, both research findings and practical lessons from the work are shared.

9.30 Introduction of the New Global project: Interdisciplinary research for sustainability innovations in resource constrained settings

9.45 Marleen Vierenga “Innovative entrepreneurial processes of grassroots entrepreneurs in the low-income context”

10.00 Helena Sandman “Empathic design methods in architecture to support social sustainabilility in the Global South. ”

10.15 Jarkko Levänen ”The role of institutions in the advancement of circular economy”

10.30 Sini Numminen "Blackout under a bright sunshine. Quality of solar electricity in rural areas in emerging markets"

10.45 Anne Hyvärinen ”Bridging constraints through innovation partnerships – cases from Kenyan water sector”

11.00 -11.45 Discussion on lessons learned by doing interdisciplinary action research in emerging markets

Ses­sion 6: De­growth and post­growth

Aalto-sali / Aalto-hall

In sustainability science, it is increasingly acknowledged that infinite growth on a finite planet is unsustainable. That is, due to the lack of evidence in absolute decoupling of economic growth from ecological harm, there is a call for reorienting societies and organizations towards degrowth and postgrowth in the over-consuming and over-producing contexts in order to achieve sustainability. In these alternative futures, instead of building up expectations and furthering ungrounded optimism in progress, the economy of the world would be downsized to the extent that its resource use and waste does not exceed the regenerative and/or assimilative capacities of the planetary ecosystem. The purpose of this session is to examine what kind of ideas, practices, and structures could support this societal transformation of great magnitude. We are hence particularly keen on contributions that explicitly question the predominant growth hegemony, and outline ways to reach degrowth and postgrowth societies. The proposed alternatives can be more or less radical, and they do not have to be portrayed as successful in any absolute sense.

Presentations

  • Ollinaho, Ossi: Dethroning the neoclassical orthodoxy in economics
  • Pappila, Minna: Stop talking about ‘sustainable annual loggings’
  • Korhonen, Janne, M.: Society's technology embodies and perpetuates its values. What would post-growth society's technologies look like?
  • Berglund, Eeva: Searching for vague but not woolly social science vocabularies for understanding degrowth in the context of the growth imperative 
  • Nikander, Pekka: Towards plurivalued markets: A position statement 
  • Laine, Lauri, J.: Entrepreneurship, ethics and degrowth
  • Sandberg, Maria: How to reduce consumption levels in high-consuming societies? 
  • Ruuska, Toni: Quit your job and move to the countryside?

Commentator

  • Annareetta Lumme-Timonen, Solidium

Con­veners

  • Pasi Heikkurinen (Univ. of Helsinki), pasi.heikkurinen(at)helsinki.fi. 
  • Eeva Houtbeckers (Aalto University), eeva.houtbeckers(at)aalto.fi

Ses­sion 7: Val­ues, So­cial Sustainability and So­cial Re­spons­ib­il­ity: Core at Sustainable Food Sys­tems in the Fu­ture?

Room Y124

How can we re-think the short-sighted transactional approach to relationships in food systems -- as these systems transition to more sustainable forms as a function of the very social norms and values we cherish as a society -- by engaging in a debate about human values, food democracy and social inclusion? This session seeks answers, by addressing the role of values in the sustainability debate at large, in connecting society with its surrounding businesses and in connecting individuals with the surrounding spaces we use directly and indirectly as part of our food system. In this way, the session aims to provide answers to the question of what role values and social sustainability have and/ or should have – also relative to financial sustainability and environmental sustainability -- in guiding the transition to a new and more sustainable food system, in Finland and the world at large.

14:30-14:35

Introduction Bodo Steiner (UH) 
Bodo Steiner on SSD speakers list

14:35-14:50

Markus Vinnari (UH)  HUMAN AND/OR NON-HUMAN VALUES?: “From abstract dimensions to actual beings – is there a need for a new target for sustainability?”

14:50-14:55

discussion Bodo Steiner (UH)
14:55-15:10 Jaana Sorvali, Janne Kaseva, Markku Verkasalo, Pirjo Peltonen-Sainio (Luke) HUMAN VALUES OF FARMERS: “Basic human values of farmers – motivation for change in agriculture”  

15:10-15:15

discussion Bodo Steiner (UH)
15:15-15:30 Anu Reinikainen, Karetta Timonen, Galyna Medyna (Luke) SOCIAL LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS: “Using a generic SLCA database for hotspot screening of social issues, case of protein production from sidestreams”
15:30-15:35 discussion Bodo Steiner (UH)
15:35-15:50 Meg L. Resler and Sophia Hagolani-Albov (UH) FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND FOOD DEMOCRACY IN FOOD SYSTEMS: “Developing the conceptualization of an Agroecological Urbanism”
15:50-15:55 discussion Bodo Steiner (UH)
15:55-16:10 Christopher Raymond  & Bodo Steiner (UH) SOCIAL INCLUSION IN FOOD SYSTEMS: “Promoting ecological values, social inclusion and well-being through new urban (including food) spaces.”
16:10-16:15 discussion Bodo Steiner (UH)
16:15-16:45 Panel discussion Nina Elomaa (Sustainability Director, Fazer Group), Sanna-Liisa Taivalmaa (Senior Adviser, Rural Development, Department for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland), Prof. Markku Kuula (Aalto), Prof. Bodo Steiner (UH).

Con­veners

  • Bodo Steiner (Univ. of Helsinki), bodo.steiner(at)helsinki.fi
  • Markku Kuula (Aalto University), markku.kuula(at)aalto.fi

Ses­sion 8: Un­der­stand­ing, chal­len­ging and chan­ging en­ergy prac­tices

Room U119 DELOITTE

Scientific research and public policy in the field of energy consumption has primarily focused on technological and behavioural means to improve carbon efficiency. However, such approaches have been insufficient in the aims to challenge the present social norms and cultural conventions steering daily consumption and leading to an increased need for energy. To enable a shift towards low carbon society, we need to understand the framework within which energy is used: to look beyond individual consumers to the historical, structural, and cultural factors shaping daily consumption and to recognise the networks of practices, actors and situations within which energy use occurs. The challenge for policy is thus to transform not only individual behaviours, but also collective rules, infrastructures and systems of provision defining consumption.

This session welcomes presentations focusing on (but not restricted to) inter- and transdisciplinary methods for changing prevailing energy cultures; adoption and appropriation of novel technologies and practices in different social and geographical contexts; innovative ways to challenge and intervene with energy consumption practices; and approaches to understand the interlinked processes of energy production and consumption - in short, approaches that go beyond traditional behavioural change initiatives in shifting energy practices onto more sustainable pathways.

14:30-14:40

Welcome, introductions

Senja Laakso and Mikko Jalas

14:40- 15:00

What is energy demand?   Jenny Rinkinen Centre for Consumer Society Research, University of Helsinki

15:00-15:20

Impact of different planning alternatives to minimise carbon dioxide emissions in central Helsinki   Minttu Havu1, Tuuli Toivonen2 and Leena Järvi1,3  1 Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research, University of Helsinki 2 Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki 3 Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki
15:20-15:40   Urban Sustainability Transition? Case Eko-Viikki     Anna Salomaa¹, Kaj Lindedahl², Jenni Nieminen¹, Sirkku Juhola¹  ¹ Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, University of Helsinki, ² School of Industrial Engineering, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
15:40-16:00   17c is the answer but what is the problem? Smart technology, standby-temperatures and the health of the house Mikko Jalas Department of Design, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
16:00- 16:20   What is clean and comfortable? Understanding and challenging conventions in daily lives Senja Laakso, Eeva-Lotta Apajalahti, Kaisa Matschoss Centre for Consumer Society Research, University of Helsinki
16:20-16:45 Commentators’ comments & common discussion    

Commentator

  • Mira Jarkko, Environmental inspector, City of Helsinki

Con­veners

  • Senja Laakso (Univ. of Helsinki), senja.laakso(at)helsinki.fi
  • Mikko Jalas (Aalto University), mikko.jalas(at)aalto.fi
  • Eeva-Lotta Apajalahti (Univ. of Helsinki), eeva-lotta.apajalahti(at)helsinki.fi

Ses­sion 9: To­wards a low-car­bon society – im­ple­ment­a­tion and as­sess­ment

Room Y203

Research has a facilitative role as contributor to new knowledge, which helps to design policies, to remove sustainability barriers and to accelerate the progress of successful solutions. Transition has been traditionally studied from the historical perspective e.g. how it has advanced over time. Nevertheless, research also looks at potential future pathways, directions, visions or trajectories of change.

This session tackles future oriented considerations on transition towards low-carbon production and consumption. We invite contributions which examine transitions from a multiplicity of perspectives, sectors and levels, including but not limited to the systems view, policy perspective, governance, actor analysis, buildings, energy or mobility sectors, experimentation etc. We welcome both conceptual discussions as well as empirical analysis on transitions.

Due to the pressing need of taking actions to counteract the negative effects of climate change, we welcome presentations that focus on discussing established as well as novel methodologies in how to empirically create future pathways of low-carbon transitions. By discussing a variety of ways and perspectives on studying transitions in the making, we hope to cross-fertilize and advance the transdisciplinary sustainability research towards considering future perspectives, and support respective policy making while doing so.

Presentations

14.30 -14.40 Opening words
14.40 – 15.45 Contributions (10 min each):

  • Michael Lettenmeier1,3,5 Lewis Akenji2,4 Ryu Koide2 Aryanie Amellina2 Viivi Toivio1,3 Sonja Nielsen1  (1Aalto University 2Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) 3D-mat ltd. 4Helsinki University 5Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and Environment): 1,5-degree lifestyles: from targets and gaps to options and tools.
  • Mikko Äijälä, Laura Riuttanen (Institute for atmospheric and Earth system research (INAR), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland): Climate university – teaching and learning for a sustainable future.
  • Elena Valkama1 and Marco Acutis2 (1Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4 A, 20520 Turku, 2Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Production, Landscape, Agroenergy, University of Milan): Innovative cropping systems for carbon market.
  • Jarkko Levänen*, Ville Uusitalo*, Anna Kuokkanen*, Michael Jäger** (*Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, Department of Sustainability Science, **Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics): Understanding sustainability impacts of circular economy business models.
  • Minor break
  • Galyna Medyna and Sanna Hietala (Natural Resources Institute Finland, Luke): Future scenarios and LCA – from qualitative to quantitative, assessing and comparing potential futures.
  • Ashraful Alam (Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Aalto University): Climate impact of forest-based materials production and use against fossil system in a life cycle assessment approach.

15.45-16.00 Comments by Tanja Suni (Ministry of Environment)
16.00-16.40 General discussion

Commentator

  • Tanja Suni, Ministry of the Environment

Con­veners

  • Armi Temmes (Aalto University), armi.temmes(at)aalto.fi
  • Kaisa Matschoss (Univ. of Helsinki). kaisa.matschoss(at)helsinki.fi

Ses­sion 10: Big data meth­ods: what is the con­tri­bu­tion to Sustainability Science

Room M1 M232

This session asks how big data and increasing computing power can help us to address sustainability challenges and enable more informed decision-making. We invite contributions from various disciplines to inquire and discuss the validity, meaning, policy relevance and governance consequences of big data methods in sustainability science. Examples can include big data methods for ecological monitoring and modelling, resource optimization, environmental risk assessment, real-time reporting, assessment of environmental quality indicators, text data mining related to sustainability transitions. The session will combine poster presentation of big data methods application in diverse sustainability science settings and critical discussion on the boundaries of application of big data methods, their limitations and policy implications.

Presentations

14:30 - 14:40 Opening by the session organisers

14:40 - 15:00 Invited talk: Different looks at sustainability: from individual behavioral change to urban resilience from satellite imagery. Sanja Šćepanović, Nokia Bell Labs (UK) 

15:00 - 15:20 Exploiting Helsinki region open data in fluid dynamics modelling: Support for sustainable urban planning. Mona Kurppa, Sasu Karttunen and Leena Järvi. Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research / Physics, HELSUS, University of Helsinki, Finland 

15:20 - 15:40 Bayesian computation in the decoupling of blue economic growth from water resources use and environmental impacts. Olli Malve & Niina Kotamäki. Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) Finland.

15:40 - 16:00 Social Media as a Weathervane for the State of Policy. Arho Toikka. University of Helsinki, Finland.  

16:00 - 16:20 Governance of forest information in the age of open data and digitalization. Salla Rantala, Brent Swallow, Riikka Paloniemi, Elina Raitanena. Environmental Policy Centre, the Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

16:20 - 16:45 Public discussion

Commentator:

  • Hanno Nevanlinna, Futurice

Con­veners

  • Karoliina Isoaho (Univ. of Helsinki), karoliina.isoaho(at)helsinki.fi
  • Dalia D’Amato (Univ. of Helsinki), dalia.damato(at)helsinki.fi
  • Polina Rozenshtein (Aalto University), polina.rozenshtein(at)aalto.fi

Ses­sion 11: Evid­ence based policy or Policy based Evid­ence II: Different science-policy interactions, different outcomes? How evidence is provided and taken up

Room U270 U8

In this session we are interested in exploring the role of scientists and evidence in shaping policy and practice of sustainability. We define sustainability very broadly, and our main interests lie in exploring the topic of reliability and accountability of researchers and policy makers towards society’s needs and interests in (environmental) sustainability and the role of power relations within this interface.

Credible and independent evidence, defined as an available body of knowledge and information, is crucial to respond to our current major socio-environmental challenges, with sustainability sciences playing a pivotal role in providing this. Demand for and supply of evidence to inform decision makers and practitioners seems to be very high: calls for improved public policy through evidence-based decision making, establishment of new science-policy interfaces, and commitments to impactful science are voiced every day in diverse policy arenas. At the same time however, reliability of scientific evidence is increasingly contested and challenged by political and societal actors. And while scientists no longer can claim to hold the monopoly over legitimate knowledge production as multiple sources of evidence and expertise gain acceptance and legitimacy (e.g. indigenous peoples knowledge about biodiversity), facts and information are still being produced, selected and interpreted by a variety of society actors, ranging from Universities, to state research institutions, think tanks, interest organizations and other state and civil society actors. Hence, one can argue that in addition to scientists, multiple actors, including industrial lobbyists and environmental organizations, are using evidence to advance their agendas and influence public decision-making. Furthermore, public decision making is also affected by values, beliefs, and by power relations, for example expressed through financial exchanges. One can expect to find such plurality but also inherent power imbalances in particular in fields characterized by multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary research and ambitions for co-creation of knowledge (e.g. sustainability science), as this type of research is likely to encounter and include people with various backgrounds  and beliefs.  This raises important questions about the reliability of evidence: what is evidence and how is the evidence generated, how is it used, by whom? And as importantly, whose questions and findings have found funding and hence can contribute to a body of evidence? In summary, whose voices are heard, and whose evidence counts?

In this session we would like to explore questions such as whose science – and sustainability - matters, and who determines which questions (and problems) are on the sustainability research and policy agenda? We will discuss and explore the multiple challenges related to science policy interactions in particular within the sustainability sciences together with the participants, and aim to identify experiences and opportunities for addressing these challenges.

Presenters

  • Ciroth & Steiner: The Environmental Footprint – can’t we do better in LCA? Towards more accountable sustainability assessments
  • Paloniitty & Kotamäki: Reviewing All Normative Decisions? Water Models in Finnish Judicial Review
  • Salo: Governmentality in evidence: epistemic forest governance in biodiversity-era Peru
  • Harrinkari & Brockhaus: The Role of Scientific Evidence in the Revisions of Finnish Forest Act
  • Saarela: (Un)sustainable forest bioenergy? Researchers’ and policy-makers’ reflections on science-policy interface in bioenergy policy. Researchers’ and policy-makers’ reflections on science-policy interface in bioenergy policy

Commentator

  • Jenni Airaksinen, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities

Con­veners

  • Maria Ojanen (Univ. of Helsinki), maria.ojanen(at)helsinki.fi
  • Maria Brockhaus (Univ. of Helsinki), maria.brockhaus(at)helsinki.fi